9 Steps to Transform Employees Into Brand Ambassadors

iStock_Brand_LargeThe role of brand promotion no longer rests solely on the shoulders of the marketing organization. The proliferation of social platforms and technology tools parlays the voice of many with much greater ease and impact. The active role employees can play in brand visibility and transparency is profound. Organizations now want to partner with employees for greater brand exposure.

Getting our company profiles on social platforms, or launching a corporate blog and communicating to employees is one thing, but how can we go a few steps further to ensure our employees are an extension of our brand and that they proudly share within their own networks our greatest stories. We’re now asking employees to leverage their personal platforms and play the role of brand ambassador speaking on behalf of the organization. 5 to 10 years ago, this idea may have scared off most marketing and legal departments, but today this is a desired practice of the most successful and powerful brands.

How do we not only encourage our employees to spread the word, but to also articulate the brand identity in a meaningful and accurate way? Continue reading

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7 Ways to Strengthen Your Virtual Workplace Persona

iStock_Home Office_LargeThe virtual workforce is a business trend on the rise and working from home offices along with it. The convenience of technology innovations coupled with the nature of knowledge worker professions allows us to work from almost any location we choose.

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 2.6% of the U.S. workforce telecommutes at least half the time, and since 2005 it’s grown nearly 80%. This article in the New York Times proves the trend continues. In the latest Intuit 2020 Report, researchers predict there will be an accelerated increase of a “contingent workforce” such as freelancers and contractors making up nearly 40-50% of the workforce by the year 2020.

Working from a home office is becoming less of a luxury and more of a standard. Yet many aren’t certain they have the right discipline or even the proper set-up to maintain an effective professional life within the home.

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Launching a Subject Matter Expert Program

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Driving new thought leadership and premium media opportunities for an organization requires a thoughtful communications plan aligned to core business priorities and goals. But you also have to partner with the best people to develop critical content, leverage in the right press opportunity, and to seamlessly showcase the deep thought leadership of your organization and its clients.

This is where a solid subject matter expert (SME) program can make an enormous difference in your planning efforts.

What is a SME?

Simply put, a SME is an individual with deep knowledge, skill, and expertise in a particular subject area or domain. There may be varying levels of proficiency or focus, and that’s a good thing as it allows you to leverage individuals in multiple ways.

When looking to build a successful SME program for your organization, there are numerous things to consider, collect, and prepare before launching. Below are key components to jump-start an impactful thought leadership program.

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16 Tips for Developing High Impact Press Releases

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In my experiences overseeing public relations, I have often been approached by business leaders and subject matter experts to create and publish a press release simply for the sake of getting the company or offering  out in the market. Often times the reason for the urgency has been that they’ve had a hard time selling their product or service – there may be a belief that getting a press release out to the public will suddenly reduce the sales lifecycle or close a specific deal.

While I do feel a well-written press release and a thoughtful media campaign can impact awareness and potential sales, it’s not going to be the sole tactic to drive a large increase. Instead, it should part of a broader campaign and message strategy.

To ensure the success of a press release, there are numerous considerations before the first draft is even developed. Below are several items to consider before, during, and after the development of a press release to ensure you get the most value and impact from the right business opportunities.

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Best Practices for Creating a Robust Online Newsroom

Spokesperson at Mic_LargeThe evolution of the internet and the ability for anyone to create and share content at a moment’s notice is exciting, and maybe a bit terrifying at the same time. Technological advances continue to saturate the storytelling ecosystem at an astonishing rate. This is great for the content creator, but can also feel like an insurmountable obstacle for media outlets and journalists. The mission of finding a unique and timely story has become even more challenging as the competitive landscape of a reporter continues to explode.

Great organizations, and specifically their PR teams, should look for opportunities to simplify the process and build strong and enduring relationships with the media. One of the best things an organization can do is to develop a robust, easy-to-use, online newsroom. If reporters are consistently racing to find a unique story angle, a fresh point of view, as well as a strong subject matter expert (SME), why not provide them what they need quickly and easily so they get their story, and you can share your organization’s thought leadership?

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My Top Advice for Launching a Career in Communications & PR

iStock_PR Career_LargeLike many seasoned practitioners, I’ve often been approached by individuals seeking advice as they begin a career in the field of corporate communications and public relations (PR). Usually they ask for my opinion on what it’s really like to work in this profession day-to-day, or the best way to build a successful and fulfilling career.

There are loads of advice and numerous suggestions out there which are generally spot on. However, I always offer the caveat that there are certain factors making each experience unique. Things like geographic location, corporate culture, business or industry focus, company size, and executive leadership are just a few circumstances that can individualize an experience, for better or for worse.

For me, I came into the field in a non-traditional manner versus a more direct route. I didn’t set out to be here, but this is where I ended up. I actually prefer that this was an evolution for me as I think that brought me greater insights into people, the role, and the clients I serve.

Based on my personal experiences, as well as those I know in the industry and the paths they forged, I’ve compiled my best advice for anyone wanting to launch a career in corporation communications and PR.

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